In a true feat of mental strength never before seen on campus, sophomore Joanna Walsh successfully explained the entirety of her Philosophy of Human Nature course to a classmate in the three minutes before the midterm. Not missing a detail, she explored in great depth the nuances of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, even taking a whole 4.5 seconds to ruminate on the nature of logic.
“I don’t know how she did it,” said Brandon Carter, the classmate with whom Walsh was speaking before their midterm today at 10:00 a.m. “After not studying at all and getting that three minute summary, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that prepared to take a midterm before.”
The interaction started when Carter, visibly anxious as he tapped his blue Bic pen against his wireframe glasses, leaned over the right side of his desk to talk to Walsh. She sat at attention, her desk cleared, save five identically sharpened no. 2 Dixon Ticonderoga pencils.
“Hey so can you explain what Plato was talking about to me?” Carter asked earnestly, hoping to save himself from certain failure.
“What part of it?” Walsh replied.
“All of it,” Carter asserted. “Actually the entirety of the course. Like all of the readings, all of the lectures, including the movie we were supposed to watch for homework and the three books over 300 pages that we had to read by this point, but that I haven’t touched at all. I figured now is a good time to talk about it. You can explain that all to me now, right?.”
Realizing that her time to show her true talents had come, Walsh took a deep breath at 9:57 a.m. and launched into a synopsis of Western philosophy that made Crash Course videos look like long winded documentaries. Her deft selection of detail and the amount of time she spent on each topic — about 9.745 seconds on average — displayed a clear understanding of the material that perhaps their professor did not even possess.
As the clock struck 10:00 a.m., Walsh ceased her explanation, and turned back towards the front of the room just in time to take the exam from the professor’s hand. Enabled by the wisdom imparted upon him by Walsh, Carter confidently took the exam, walking away with a 29 instead of the 17 he more customarily scored on such tests.
“I’ll forever be in her debt,” Carter said, breathing a sigh of relief as he shook his hand from exhaustion after having written a whole five sentences on the test that he had an hour to complete. “Most of the time when I walk in unprepared for class and ask one of my classmates to explain the entirety of the course material to me, I just get sideways glances. I mean, if Walsh can explain 7 weeks worth of course material to me in three minutes, why can’t everyone?”
We finally caught up with Walsh about an hour after the exam, when she was voraciously reading the works of St. Augustine while walking in the hallway between classes.
Although she said she prefers not to share her secrets, she did shed some light on how she managed to say everything in three minutes.
“It really just comes down to how much info you know and how much you’re willing to bullshit in order to get an annoying classmate you know to leave you alone,” Walsh said. “Sometimes, you get to use both.”